Google Chrome has the most reported vulnerabilities among browsers in 2022
All internet users need a browser to access a vast variety of websites available on the World Wide Web. As a result, browsers collect a wide range of sensitive data — from online account passwords to credit card details and more.
This is one of the key reasons why web browser security is crucial. However, out of all software products, web browsers are the most affected by security vulnerabilities.
According to the data presented by the Atlas VPN team, the world's most popular browser Google Chrome also has the most reported vulnerabilities, with 303 vulnerabilities discovered year to date. Google Chrome is also an all-time leader with a total of 3,159 cumulative vulnerabilities.
The numbers are based on the data provided by the VulDB vulnerability database. The article overviews vulnerabilities submitted to the database from the 1st of January 2022 till the 5th of October 2022. The research focuses on the total number of vulnerabilities (including vulnerabilities with fixes) but does not analyse the severity of vulnerabilities.
Also, worth to mention that the Google Chrome browser has the most users, which is why more vulnerabilities get reported.
Some of the most recent Google Chrome vulnerabilities include CVE-2022-3318, CVE-2022-3314, CVE-2022-3311, CVE-2022-3309, and CVE-2022-3307. All of the vulnerabilities can lead to memory corruption but can be eliminated by upgrading to version 106.0.5249.61.
Next up is Mozilla Firefox, with 117 vulnerabilities, followed by Microsoft Edge, with 103 vulnerabilities discovered YTD — 61% more than in the entire year of 2021. That is an unusually high number for a browser with only 806 total vulnerabilities since its release.
In the meantime, Apple's Safari browser has had some of the lowest vulnerability numbers in years. Safari, which has recently reached over 1 billion users making it the second most popular browser in the world, had 26 documented vulnerabilities in the first three quarters of 2022. In the meantime, its cumulative vulnerability number stands at 1,139.
Another major browser, Opera, has no documented vulnerabilities this year and only 344 total cumulative vulnerabilities.
While quite different in features, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and Opera are all built on the Chromium engine. It means that Chromium vulnerabilities may impact all of these browsers.
How to safeguard your browser
Hackers have various techniques to exploit browser vulnerabilities. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to mitigate the risks of your browser getting compromised. Also, our research suggests that Google gathers the most information users out of top tech giants. Despite concerns, over 3 billion people use Google Chrome.
Keep your browser up to date. While it is true that browsers have many vulnerabilities, their developers usually address those vulnerabilities by releasing patches. Installing browser updates as soon as they are available lessens the chances that cybercriminals will take advantage of the vulnerability present in your current browser version.
Be careful when choosing plug-ins. While convenient, browser-plugins can also have vulnerabilities or, even worse — be malicious. Choose browser plug-ins only from reliable providers, and always ensure the latest updates are installed.
Beware of phishing. Hackers often use phishing techniques to distribute exploiting kits aimed at unpatched vulnerabilities in your browser. The best way to protect from phishing attempts is to learn to recognize them. Generally, do not open emails or messages from unknown senders. Never click on links or open attachments unless you make sure the communication is from a legitimate source.
Even if you recognize the sender, inspect their email address or social media profile before engaging with the content to verify the sender is not spoofed. If possible, confirm with each sender individually via another channel whether they really sent the message. Moreover, be suspicious of any messages you receive that contain many grammatical and spelling mistakes, use urgent requests, or ask you to provide personal information.
Also, you might consider using various alternatives for Google Chrome and Google tools overall. For instance, other browsers might be better equipped when it comes to privacy. You might also choose different navigation apps or think twice before using Google VPN.